The story of ‘Wunala’ started thousands of years ago with ancient Dreamtime journeys of Australia’s Aboriginal people and was celebrated in 1994 when Qantas commissioned a painting from Balarinji Designs
A team of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists developed distinctive imagery using a contemporary graphic style featuring motifs from Northern and Central Australia to create one of the world’s largest pieces of modern art – a unique B747-400.
The design was inspired by the natural colours of Australia, from the bright red sunsets of Uluru to the blue-lavenders of the Flinders Ranges to the lush green apple colours of Kakadu.
John and Ros Moriarty, principals of Balarinji Design, explained the ‘Wunala Dreaming’ of the Yanyuwa people from the Gulf of Carpenteria:
“In Dreamtime journeys, spirit ancestors in the form of kangaroos (Wunala) make tracks from camps to waterholes, leading the people to water and food. Today, as they have for centuries, Aboriginal people re-enact such journeys through song and dance ‘corroborees’. These ensure the procreation of all living things in the continuing harmony of nature’s seasons.”
Wunala Dreaming was digitalised on computer and magnified 100 times to generate 2 kilometres of blotting paper. This allowed the 67 patterns – including 1324 irregular dots – to be traced onto the plane.